Max Scherzer notched his 200th strikeout during yesterday’s start for the Washington Nationals, marking the sixth straight season in which he has managed the milestone.
Starting pitcher Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals reached another milestone yesterday as he continued what has been a dominant career. Now he has achieved this feat in six straight seasons – all but his first three full seasons. As Oliver Macklin of MLB.com mentioned, only ten pitchers in MLB history have managed such a consistent performance.
Thursday’s start was quite the show of force for Max Scherzer. It came on his 33rd birthday, and magic certainly filled the day. Allowing just one run on a solo blast alongside two other hits and three walks, the righty posted six dominant innings. Strikeouts, of course, highlighted the event, and Scherzer kept things spicy with a grand total of nine.
Not only did Scherzer toss a dominant outing, but the offense came to life as well. The Washington Nationals demolished the Milwaukee Brewers on the way to a 15 to 2 victory. Not only did all of the starting nine batters record a hit, but they also all managed to score a run.
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Right fielder Bryce Harper, in particular, had an excellent game. He slapped three hits in five at-bats, two of which were home runs. All in all, his four runs batted in and three runs combined for nearly half of the Nationals’ final tally. Ryan Zimmerman also joined Harper in the double home run club, although he only accounted for five of the team’s runs.
As great as Max Scherzer pitched for the Washington Nationals, it was not exactly an abnormal showing for him. Armed with two Cy Young Awards and five All-Star appearances, the ace has grown accustomed to greatness. Given how incredibly he has started 2017, it is entirely conceivable that he could add a third Cy Young Award to his total in just a few months’ time.
Aside from the recently injured Clayton Kershaw, Scherzer owns the best earned run average in all of MLB with a 2.23 mark, and only Chris Sale has more strikeouts. As things currently stand, the righty is set to post career bests in both categories, and the aforementioned Macklin noted that he could potentially contend with Sale to record the most strikeouts in a season since the great Randy Johnson.
Not only has his success been great for himself, but it has also been a boon for the Washington Nationals. The team signed him to a mega contract back before the 2015 season worth $210 million over seven years. Now nearly three seasons into the deal, it appears that the Nationals have made a good investment.
As things currently stand, FanGraphs values Scherzer’s contributions to the team at 16.4 wins above replacement in his time with the Nats, roughly a $131.8 million value in dollar terms. If he can give the team one or two few more solid seasons, it is entirely possible that the contract will avoid the doom and gloom that frequents long-term deals to pitchers on the wrong side of 30. The agreement may even turn out to be a steal for the Washington Nationals.